Polyacrylamide (PAM)

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Polyacrylamide (PAM)
  Polyacrylamide (PAM) Definition Polyacrylamides (PAMs), are polymer-based materials used to facilitate erosioncontrol and decrease soil sealing by binding soil particles, especially clays, to holdthem on site. In addition, these types of materials may also be used as a watertreatment additive to remove suspended particles from runoff. Description and Purpose   PAM increases the soil’s available pore volume, thus increasing infiltration andreducing the quantity of stormwater runoff that can cause erosion. Suspendedsediments from PAM treated soils exhibit increased flocculation over untreated soils.The increased flocculation aids in their deposition, thus reducing stormwater runoff turbidity and improving water quality.   PAMs may be used as a water treatmentadditive to remove suspended particles from runoff. PAMs may also be used toprovide an appropriate medium for the growth of vegetation for furtherstabilization.Pollutant(s) controlled:     Suspended SolidsTreatment Mechanisms:    Chemical (flocculation & coagulation) Companion and Alternative BMPs    Dust Control    Hydroseeding    Sediment Basin Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages:    Improves stability of problem soils to prevent soil detachment (i.e. preventserosion) in the first place    Provides quick stabilization where vegetation has yet to be established    Promotes flocculation (reduces settling time) of smallest particles    Increases soil pore volume and permeability, thus decreasing imperiouscover    Less obtrusive than some conventional measures - doesn’t interfere withconstruction machinery/activity    Convenient and easy to apply and store along with other soil amendments(fertilizer, mulch, etc.) with conventional seeding, mulching, or irrigationequipment    Material is specifically designed for the soil, waters, and other on sitecharacteristics    May prevent costly repair and reshaping of rilling or failing slopes PM-1 V2010.2.12     Re-application may not be necessary for several months if treated areas aremulched    Reduces seed, pesticide, and fertilizer (phosphorus and nitrogen) losses thathinder vegetation establishment on site, increase costs, and promote nutrientand chemical loading offsite    Reduces windborne dust conditionsDisadvantages:    Materials are soil type-specific so a contractor cannot use leftover material atanother site or bulk order for multiple sites.    Using it requires site-specific testing that may take several days to complete.    Overuse may clog soils, thereby decreasing infiltration.    It is not effective when applied to pure sand or gravel with no fine silts orclays, nor when applied over snow cover.    PAM shall not be directly applied to water or allowed to enter a water body.    Do not use PAM on a slope that flows into a water body without passingthrough a sediment trap or sediment basin.    PAM will work when applied to saturated soil but is not as effective asapplications to dry or damp soil.    Some PAMs are more toxic and carcinogenic than others. Only the mostenvironmentally safe PAM products should be used.    The specific PAM copolymer formulation must be anionic. Cationic PAMshall not be used in any application because of known aquatictoxicity problems .    A review of scientific literature and field demonstrations have identifiedseveral forms of PAMs that are potentially toxic to the aquatic environmentand not suitable for use in Michigan. These toxic forms include: o   Non-food grade PAMs. These PAMs contain residual monomeracrylamides in concentrations that may be toxic in the environment.Only food grade (National Sanitary Foundation/American NationalStandards Institute) or products containing less than 0.05 percentresidual monomer by volume should be used. o   Any cationic PAM or a form other than an anionic polymer. Onlyanionic forms of PAMs demonstrate non-toxic qualities. o   Emulsion-based PAMs or any polymer that is pre-mixed in a substanceother than pure water. Some of these emulsions have a surfactantbase for easy application. While the polymer may not be toxic, someemulsions demonstrated significant toxicity during field trials Location PAM can be applied to the following areas:    Rough graded soils that will be inactive for a period of time.    Final graded soils before application of final stabilization (e.g., paving,planting, mulching).    Temporary haul roads prior to placement of crushed rock surfacing.    Compacted soil road base.    Construction staging, materials storage, and layout areas.    Soil stockpiles.    Areas that will be mulched. PM-2 V2010.2.12  General Characteristics    PAM can be used in several forms: o   Powder o   Powder added to water (wet, as a stock solution) o   Emulsion o   Gel blocks or bricks    When used correctly and in concert with existing erosion control bestmanagement practices (BMPs), land applied PAMs should not enter surfacewaters of the state.    PAMs are manufactured in various forms to be used on specific soil types,and are generally applied at a rate of up to 10 pounds/acre.    Using the wrong form of a PAM on a soil will result in some degree of performance failure, and increase the potential for this material to entersurface waters.    The use of PAMs as a soil erosion control should be listed with all other BMPsas part of your soil erosion control plan.    Pam shall be used in conjunction with other BMPs and not in place of otherBMPs, including both erosion controls and sediment controls.    Stormwater runoff from PAM treated soils should pass through a sedimentcontrol BMP prior to discharging to surface waters.    PAM can be applied to wet soil, but dry soil is preferred due to less sedimentloss.    Keep the granular PAM supply out of the sun. Granular PAM loses itseffectiveness in three months after exposure to sunlight and air.    Proper application and re-application plans are necessary to ensure totaleffectiveness of PAM usage.    PAM, combined with water, is very slippery and can be a safety hazard. Caremust be taken to prevent spills of PAM powder onto paved surfaces. Duringan application of PAM, prevent over spray from reaching pavement, aspavement will become slippery. If PAM powder gets on skin or clothing, wipeit off with a rough towel rather than washing with water this only makescleanup messier and longer.    PAM tackifiers are available and being used in place of guar and alphaplantago. Typically, PAM tackifiers should be used at a rate of no more than0.5-1 lb per 1,000 gallons of water in hydro mulch machine. Some tackifierproduct instructions say to use at a rate of 3-5 lbs per acre, which can be toomuch. In addition, pump problems can occur at higher rates due to increasedviscosity.    Prior to the application of polyacrylamides [PAMs] directly within“Surface Waters of the State”, MDEQ must approve their use. Toobtain approval, specific project information must be submitted to andreviewed by MDEQ . All requests involving the use of PAMs in direct contactwith surface water, including facilities covered by National PollutantDischarge Elimination System permits through Permit by Rule, or soil erosionand sedimentation control permits or plans, must be submitted to: o   Ms. Diana Klemans of the Surface Water Assessment Section, WaterBureau, P.O. Box 30273, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7773. o   Requests should include the following:    applicant’s name and address    the specific application location PM-3 V2010.2.12     area and frequency of treatment    name and amount of Pam(s) being used    the name and location of receiving surface waters    Please specify if the characteristics of the PAM(s) meet theguidelines specified above and if on-site soil or sedimentcharacteristics have been identified and matched to theappropriate polymer Materials    Polyacrylamide    Mulch Design Specifications    PAM may be applied in dissolved form with water, or it may be applied in dry,granular, or powered form. The preferred application method is the dissolvedform.    PAM is to be applied at a maximum rate of ½ pound PAM per 1000 gallons waterper 1 acre of bare soil. Table 1 and Figure 1 can be used to determine thePAM and water application rate for a disturbed soil area. Higherconcentrations of PAM do not provide any additional effectiveness. Construction Guidelines 1.   Pre-measure the area where PAM is to be applied and calculate the amount of product and water necessary to provide coverage at the specified applicationrate (1/2 pound PAM/1000 gallons/acre).2.   PAM has infinite solubility in water, but dissolves very slowly. Dissolve pre-measured dry granular PAM with a known quantity of clean water in a bucketseveral hours or overnight. Mechanical mixing will help dissolve the PAM.Always add PAM to water – not water to PAM.3.   Pre-fill the water truck about 1/8 full with water. The water does not have to bepotable, but it must have relatively low turbidity – in the range of 20 NTU orless.4.   Add the dissolved PAM and water mixture to the truck.5.   Fill the water truck to specified volume for the amount of PAM to be applied.6.   Spray the PAM/water mixture onto dry soil until the soil surface is uniformly andcompletely wetted7.   PAM may also be applied as a powder at the rate of 5 lbs per acre. This must beapplied on a day that is dry. For areas less than 5-10 acres, a hand held “organgrinder” fertilizer spreader set to the smallest setting will work. Tractor mountedspreaders will work for larger areas. Monitoring      Inspect BMPs prior to forecast rain, daily during extended rain events, after rainevents, weekly during the rainy season, and at two-week intervals during thenon-rainy season. PM-4 V2010.2.12
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